Illusionarium, the Havering festival of illusion and light will return for 2021


Illusionarium, the Havering festival of illusion and light will return for 2021 and there is up to £3,000 available for commissions in Romford Town Centre!

Romford BID, Havering Changing and The Mercury Shopping centre have joined forces to support a festival for the borough in January, come rain or shine and they are asking local businesses and residents to be part of the fun.

The first opportunity in the build-up to the event includes the opportunity to create a public artwork to be displayed as part of a family trail in Romford town centre, and the festival team are urging local businesses and creatives to apply.

“A light festival is a great opportunity to celebrate during the dark months of January and February and we would love to see as many local people and businesses to get involved as possible. We know that we have a huge community spirit in Romford and Havering and would like to help make that truly grow in the new year!” says Natalie, Deputy Centre Manager of The Mercury.

The theme for the 2021 festival is ‘Winter Garden’ and already has plans set in motion for three of the artworks to be made by local people in Harold Hill, Rainham, Orchard Village and Romford.

“We will work with local residents to make work, and with town Steering Group members and local business owners to ensure they are at the heart of decision making and involved actively in the festival. This is important because we want the Illusionarium to be for the whole community so we can all celebrate together.” says James, Director of Havering Changing, a new programme of activity being supported by Arts Council England to support more creative activity in the borough.

Last year, Illusionarium was based at The Mercury and saw over 1,000 people enjoy six specially made artworks over the dark months – this year, the festival will triple in size and the festival team expect the installations to bring joy to thousands of members of the public through their special families programme and activities.

The festival is being supported by a multitude of different partners to ensure that local people can experience and engage in incredible happenings and artworks outside, no matter the situation of covid-19 in the new year! They have already commissioned three co-creation projects and will also be displaying three commissioned artworks from Illusionarium 2020.

They now need creatives to join the Illusionarium festival family with some spectacular sculptures!

There are six commissions available (1 x £3,000 / 3 x £2,000 / 2 x £1,000) including the commissioning of one practitioner to run a community project to support as many businesses in Romford Town and residents across Havering to join in with the festival as possible.

Deadline for all commission applications:  30 November 2020 

Applicants can download application pack, and find out more about the trail at:

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